books, Chick lit, new releases, reviews

Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life

I have a strange relationship with Marian Keyes books.  As a person, I love her on Twitter and I could watch her all day on Strictly It Takes Two or Bake Off Extra Slice.  But when it comes to her books, and when I read them, I enjoy them but there are some times I pick one up and just don’t fancy it.  I don’t know if it’s because as well as the humour she deals with Serious Issues – and I’m not always in the market for Proper Problems with my chick lit.*  She is massively, massively popular though – and I know this is a book which is going to be on a lot of Christmas lists this year.

The Woman Who Stole My Life is about Stella Sweeney – who tries to do a good deed and ends up a car crash, the fall out from which will change her life.  The novel jumps backwards and forwards between the now – and various points in the past which explain how she got there.

Now once again, this summary seems short and cryptic, but I’m trying hard not to give too much away because I really enjoyed not knowing all the twists and turns. I will admit that I sometimes found it hard to keep track of when we where we were in the story on occasions – but that may have been down to the formatting in the proof e-copy that I was lucky enough to receive.

One thing that I really wanted to mention was how much I love the title.  Who is the Woman Who Stole My Life ?  I’ve tried writing a sentence to explain what I mean six times – and each time it’s given away too much of the plot.  But trust me when I say when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean.

I think that this may be my favourite of Marian Keyes’ novels.  I like Stella – her voice reminds me of the tone that you get from Marian’s Twitter feed (@MarianKeyes if you don’t already follow her).  I occasionally wanted to give Stella a bit of a talking to, but most of the time I was totally rooting for her as she bounced back from a life-changing experience and tried to figure out what she wanted in life with the assistance (or otherwise) of her family and friends.

And having enjoyed this so much – despite there being some serious issues in there – it’s inspired me to go back and read some of the Keyes backlist that I’ve missed out on.  In fact I think that there may be a Walsh Family book in my library book bag waiting to be read.  Serendipity indeed.

The Woman Who Stole My Life feels like a winter book, something you can curl up on the sofa with and eat Jaffa cakes like there’s no tomorrow – just like Stella does although I give you fair warning that if you do, you may end up in “lady chinos” – just like Stella!

My copy came from Netgalley in return for an honest review, but I’m expecting The Woman Who Stole My Life to be front and centre on the displays and promotions in all the major shops, but if you want to buy online here are some links – for kindle, at Foyles, it’s on my shelves at My Independent Bookshop – where it’ll give some money to one of my local indies or you can buy it through Hive and give money to one of your local indies.

*As the regular reader will be aware, my aversion to Bad Things leads me towards the romance novels and cozy crime and away from Literary Fiction and Prize Winning books.

stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 27 – November 2

A fair few short stories on the list this week – some good, some not, one dreadful.  And I hate saying that about a writer’s work.  Hey ho.


Trent’s Last Case by E C Bentley

A Place For Us Part 4 by Harriet Evans

The Accidental Countess by Valerie Bowman

The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley

The Bride by Julie Garwood

Christmas with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Happy Birthday Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

Marrying to the Boss by Elannah James (avoid avoid avoid)


Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Still reading:

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

More Fool Me by Stephen Fry

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Sheila by Robert Wainwright

Four ebooks bought, two free ones too but no actual books bought.  So not a bad week in the scheme of things.

books, stats

October Stats

On Good Reads to-reads shelf (I don’t have copies of all of these!): 432

New books* read in October: 39

Books from the Library Book pile: 1

Books from the to-read pile: 4

E-books: 31

Books read as soon as they arrived: 3

Most read author in October: Alan Hunter (four George Gently books on holiday!)

Books* read this year: 223

Books bought:  11 (4 books, 8 ebooks)

Books acquired: 2

Ebooks acquired: 17…

Net progress down the physical to read pile: 2 less books on the to read pile

The holiday really helped with the books read this year – not so much with the physical pile as I read everything on the kindle…  On the plus side I didn’t really buy many books so even the few paperbacks I read have helped the pile!  Hurrah!


* Total includes some short stories (5 this month)